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To wash it all…

January 18, 2011


As many of you know, we mostly use cloth diapers in this house. Now I’m not going to get on a soapbox (no pun intended!) and tell you we did it for environmental reasons, we did it purely out of frugality and cost effectiveness. The fact that it is better on the environment is just a bonus. Since four months old my little guy has used cloth diapers primarily, only using disposables a back up or if we are out about town.

Well, cloth has come quite a ways since our Mother’s cloth diapers with pins and rubber pants and today’s cloth diapers come in all sorts of fun fashion colors with accessories and made from all sorts of materials. You can get them in bamboo, hemp, organic,with animals, flowers and even to support your favorite team.

But the number one question I get from all Mommas who want to start cloth is: How do you wash the things?! When we started using them I used an all natural detergent. What I do is dump the solid waste down the toilet and them put all the diapers in the washer for a cold water rinse followed by a hot water wash on the highest water setting. Then I put them all in the dryer. I hope to hang them to dry this summer once my clothes line is set up (hint, hint, Daddy!)

Using the all natural detergent I did not get the results I wanted so I ventured out and tried a new level of hippidom: I searched and search to find a recipe and made my own soap. My ingredients are Borax, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and Ivory soap. Thats it. Just three ingredients and I can wash all diapers and all my family’s laundry and it all comes out clean smells, clean feeling and just fresh.

And the best part, besides knowing that I made it myself and its just awesome? The fact that each load of laundry only costs us about one cent! Love it!

Homemade Laundry Powder

Equal parts by weight of Borax and Washing Soda

Equal weight of grated Ivory soap, I usually use about one bar

Mix Borax and Washing Soda together and add grated Ivory soap. Mix well.

Mix well and pour into a container. I use an old wide mouth canning jar. Use one tablespoon per load.

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7 Responses to “To wash it all…”

  1. tbiggers Says:

    Have you experienced a “repelling” issue yet with your diapers and this recipe??? Just wondering. I was told this would happen. I’m using Dr. Bronners as my SOAP.
    equal parts Borax and Washing soda in 1 container and 1tsp Dr. Bronners per load of diapers. I’ll follow your blog since you started 6 mo before me with your recipe. Lets keep in touch. 🙂

    • mommapea Says:

      Hi there, I have not had any issues with repelling, but I make it a point to strip my dipes every six months. I find they just stay fresher and work better when we do this. Please let me know how the Dr.Bonners works for you, I have been curious to try it.

  2. tbiggers Says:

    Care to share your strip routine?

    • mommapea Says:

      Of course not! I rinse the dipes in the washer with a cold rinse, followed by a hot water wash with my homemade soap. After that, I put them into a pot of boiling water with a bit of white vinegar added (you can also use baking soda). I boil them for thirty minutes at a full rolling boil. I then pour the whole pot into the washer and rinse once more. Then we dry.

      • tbiggers Says:

        OMG! I’d be afraid that would ruin my PUL diapers. Maybe just the soakers and inserts. But I have a few AIO i’d be afraid to boil for 30 min. MY hot is pretty hot though. I wouldn’t even know if I needed to strip them. I guess if they start leaking when they didn’t before would be my first indication.

      • mommapea Says:

        I apologize for not responding sooner, I thought I had but it must have gotten lost in translation!

        I should have been more clear – I don’t boil the PUL covers, only the inserts. I wash our covers in hot water with baking soda and vinegar for disinfecting. That tends to help the problems with smell after a few wears. I hope this helps!


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